Turtle Talk: Indian status and criminal jurisdiction
"United States v. Cruz has been getting a fair bit of attention these days in the news probably because Judge Kozinski dissented so strongly.

It is very interesting to see the Ninth Circuit struggle over who is an Indian for purposes of federal criminal jurisdiction, esp. given how Indian tribes struggle over it. But, unfortunately, cases like this will give United States Attorney’s Offices with Indian Country jurisdiction all the more reason to decline to prosecute Indian Country crimes.

The majority’s opinion, in sort of a backwards way, is heading in the right direction. Eventually, I suspect, the federal courts will abandon the common law free-for-all and adopt a bright-line rule based on tribal citizenship, a standard more in line with the political status test used in Morton v. Mancari."

Get the Story:
On Judge Kozinski’s Dissent in U.S. v. Cruz (Turtle Talk 2/11)

9th Circuit Decision:
US v. Cruz (February 10, 2009)

Related Stories:
9th Circuit reverses conviction in Indian status case (2/11)
Murder trial stalled due to 'Indian' status issue (10/6)